Garlic Scape Pesto

Last fall, before I’d heard of the low FODMAP approach to managing IBS, I had planted a couple of dozen garlic cloves in my garden to harvest this spring.  Half of the garlic was a soft neck variety and half a hard neck variety.  Hard neck varieties of garlic produce a flower stalk called a scape.  Scapes can be harvested and eaten.  We know that garlic bulbs and onion bulbs are sources of FODMAPS.  We know that the green stalks of scallions are not.  I am making an assumption that the green flowering stalk of garlic is also low in FODMAPs.  I have made and eaten this pesto with no ill effect.  If you want to experiment and you run across some fresh garlic scapes at your local farmer’s market, here’s an easy recipe.  If garlic scapes prove to be a safe alternative to garlic cloves, I’m going to be using them a lot more in my cooking.  And I’ll be planting lots of hard neck garlic this fall!

Garlic Scape Pesto 
You will need a food processor.

1 cup chopped garlic scapes
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups Parmesan cheese
salt to taste


Wash and dry garlic scapes; then cut into one inch lengths. Add scapes to the food processor and process until they are starting to look finely chopped, about 2-3 minutes.  Add spinach and pulse the mixture about 1 minute more, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and pine nuts and process about 2 minutes more.  Add Parmesan and process 1-2 minutes more, or until the pesto reaches the texture you prefer.
Use this as you would any pesto. It freezes well.

4 responses

  1. Pingback: Potato and Pesto Gratin – unknown #FODMAP load | FODMAP diet recipes

  2. I have been told to avoid garlic and onion and my FODMAP diet, but I do have pesto without the garlic on Gluten Free pasta with pine nuts which is amazing.

  3. Sorry I should have read the article fully before posting, please delete my post 🙂 I love garlic and will be planting it now and trying out recipe. Thank you for such a great site.

    • Carolyn, If you are planting garlic to harvest the scapes, be sure to plant a “hard neck” variety of garlic. The soft neck varieties do not produce scapes.

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